Mass. WWII vet: I'm fed up with what's going on in Washington

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October 2, 2013, 10:27 pm
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(NECN: Kathryn Sotnik) - The partial government shutdown is having an effect on World War II veterans traveling to Washington, D.C. on Honor Flight.

Philip Chamberlain is a Navy veteran from South Weymouth, Mass. He enlisted at age 17, and during WWII, spent months and months aboard naval ships, even in battle, but the soon-to-be 88 year old only considers himself one thing: "So fortunate."

Fortunate that he was able to see the WWII monument in D.C. on Saturday, just days before that and other national monuments were closed due to the government shutdown.

"I am so fed up with what's going on in Washington, you know. I think everybody is. I think we all are," he says.

Chamberlain and other veterans were able to go through a group called Honor Flight New England. There are trips that depart from all over the country, and Chamberlain now worries others won't have the same opportunity.

"Hopefully we settle what's going on there so they open the gates. And it's gotta be done," he says.

Chamberlain likes what he saw Tuesday, when in defiance of the D.C. politics, other wheelchair-bound elderly veterans pushed aside the barricades.

"It was due them. The privilege was due to them, and that's what the memorial is all about. For everyone of us that goes down, we should have the right to enjoy it as much as possible," he says.

And with WWII veterans leaving us all too fast, Chamberlain says there can be no missed opportunities.

"At our age, I'm lucky that I can walk and so forth, but we're getting old too fast," he says.

Tags: Washington, Washington DC, WWII, Honor Flight, World War II, government shutdown, Kathryn Sotnik, Honor Flight New England, WWII veterans
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